Agency claims Monju can withstand monster quake


The Japan Atomic Energy Agency believes its Monju fast-breeder reactor would be safe even if peak ground acceleration amid a huge quake exceeded original estimates by more than 1.86 times.

The agency provided the figure Tuesday at a meeting of experts assessing its proposal to check the reactor’s safety in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, in light of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The unit, if not idled, would use highly enriched plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel.

The assessment assumed that the unit’s cooling functions would be maintained and that its liquid sodium would continue to circulate normally even if all alternating current power sources were knocked out by a giant temblor.

The agency concluded that it could maintain the reactor core in a cool and stable state if the facility is rocked far more violently than the maximum 760 gals estimated during design.

Monju also would be able to withstand tsunami of up to 21 meters, the height at which the complex was constructed above sea level.